13 video games with a nightmare development: delays, crunch and impossible deadlines


Some ended up being masterpieces, others failed, but all shared a tortuous path.

13 video games with a nightmare development: delays, crunch and impossible deadlines

Just a few days ago, we got to know the sad story of the development of Ghost Story Games, Ken levine is recognized in the industry for his brilliant ideas in video games and his terrible team management skills. Some problems that Irrational Games already suffered during the bumpy development of Bioshock Infinite. Unfortunately, as you will see, this It is not the only case of tortuous developments.

On many occasions the staff experienced a real ordealToday we wanted to talk to you about one of the most bitter faces of video games, that of those titles that are dragged by different problems in their development. In some cases they have to do with a lack of planning, others see how time passes and they are still not ready. Changes in approach, adaptation to new development technologies, there are many problems that can lead a study to go through complications, on many occasions, directly affecting the template with endless working hours and serious consequences in terms of stress and anxiety.

13 video games with a nightmare development: delays, crunch and impossible deadlines

At present we know some cases of games with obvious problems In its development, like that of Skull and Bones, Ubisoft’s pirate adventure has gone through endless delays, lurid accusations between its directors or the recent loss of the main designer. Another of the most popular cases today is that of Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, having gone through such a critical state that it almost ended with its cancellation.

On this occasion we have not wanted to include projects that are still in development, nor those that ended up canceled, we have gathered 13 examples of games that ended up seeing the light, even becoming true masterpieces in some cases, but that suffered a nightmare development.

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite The third installment of the Bioshock franchise experienced absolute chaos in its development, leading to episodes of intense crunch to get to meet the scheduled dates. The disorder at the command was such that they needed to hire Rod Fergusson exclusively to get the ideas of Ken Levine, their director, organized. The game ended up getting a successful launch, although some parts of the content, such as multiplayer, were scrapped.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 Since its announcement in 2012 and subsequent trailer in 2013, it was seven years marked by constant delays until we were able to play Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red’s latest great triple-A has been one of the most bumpy developments the industry has seen. The last few years, with serious accusations of crunch, suffocating and unrealistic developer deadlines, and console versions that hit the market full of problems.


Anthem BioWare’s promising shooter-looter served as a cover letter for what was to be almost an outpost to the next generation, a technical spectacle that ended in an aimless project, as explained by the BioWare creatives. Among the many problems they faced, the choice of Frostbite technology would be the studio’s Achilles heel for a mammoth project in which the developers were severely understaffed.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda After one of the most beloved and revered trilogies in the video game industry, Mass Effect: Andromeda arrived accompanied by great expectations, however, development ran into, as in the case of Anthem, with problems when it came to employing Frostbite technology, with the departure of key members of the creative team and impossible deadlines that resulted in cuts to content and script, all accompanied by technical problems.

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV The story of the complicated development of Final Fantasy XV that of the entire Fabula Nova Crystallis, an ambitious series of games that hosted the Lightning trilogy, Final Fantasy Type-0 and FFXV, in a universe of its own that was crumbling over the years and course changes. Among them, the most talked about was Final Fantasy Versus XIII (later FFXV), a project that lasted forever, experiencing drastic changes in both its engine, its direction and its plot.

Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III The development of Kingdom Hearts III shared much of the problems of Final Fantasy XV, with a Tetsuya Nomura previously focused on FF Versus XIII (FF XV). In 2013 the game would be officially presented, finally arriving throughout 2019, along the way, the title would undergo an engine change at the request of Square Enix, something that would mean a strong setback for Nomura, who was very critical of the priorities of the company in terms of the priority they gave it.

The Last Guardian

The Last Guardian Fumito Ueda’s new work after Ico and Shadow of the Colossus began its journey in 2007 with a presentation for PS3 in 2009. Since then, the wait for The Last Guardian went from extreme interest to disappointment, while, in the studio , the management left the ship to work independently. With this scenario, many considered the game canceled until in 2015 it appeared again at E3 to finally reach PS4 in 2016.

The Last of Us: Parte II

The Last of Us: Parte II The development of the sequel to the award-winning Naughty Dog work was not a bed of roses, following its unexpected presentation at the PlayStation Experience in 2016, many workers would denounce a work culture founded on crunch, with several reports pointing to this dynamic already a lack of coordination with their producers that prevented optimizing efforts. The final stretch of development was marked by delay and content leakage on the Internet.

Red Dead Redemption II

Red Dead Redemption II In the same vein as The Last of Us: Part II, the sequel to Red Dead Redemption was another title that experienced a storm of accusations regarding its work culture. In its different offices, some of the testimonies of the employees confessed that they had managed to stay up to a year in a crunch situation. Working days of more than 100 hours a week, killed employees and several delays for a development that came to extend up to eight years.

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite The development problems of Halo Infinite have been evident, especially after the episode lived during the criticized presentation of 2020. The original launch of the game was to coincide with that of the new generation, while reports reflected a dramatic internal situation throughout 2019. Although the title would eventually be delayed and its formula successfully rethought, it was still forced to sacrifice some of its launch content to meet the new date.

Diablo iii

Diablo iii A year after the successful Diablo II hit the market, Blizzard got down to business with the third installment in the series. The first project was in charge of Blizzard North, more ambitious and replacing hell with heaven. In 2005, the company closed Blizzard North, changing the studio and canceling the initial project. The study in Irvine would take over, to end up hitting the market in 2012, 11 years later and with a lot of work still ahead.

Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever Duke Nukem was a myth in the 90s, yet Duke Nukem Forever is known to be one of the longest and most disastrous developments in the industry. The project was introduced in 1997, taking advantage of the popularity of Duke Nukem 3D. In 2009, 3D Realms shut down by canceling development. The game had gone through an engine change and constant delays. Finally, it would arrive in 2011 by the hand of Gearbox Software surrounded by criticism.


Daikatana Daikatana is the perfect example of tortuous development. John Romero, left ID Software to develop his creative vision accompanying it with an aggressive marketing campaign. Romero did not have qualified programmers to carry out the game and after being dragged by the new installments of Quake, forced to change the game engine and scrapping most of its development, he ended up with a rushed launch for a disastrous title.

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